SuccessFactors Shows Off Vision of ‘Human Experience Management’

SuccessFactors HXM

SAP SuccessFactors is going all-in on the notion that “experience” is foundational to successful HR and recruiting strategies.

Delivering his opening keynote at the company’s SuccessConnect 2019, CEO Greg Tomb said that going forward, SuccessFactors will treat the idea of “Human Capital Management” as “Human Experience Management.”  The biggest trend SAP sees in the HR world, he explained, is the focus on experience.

According to Gallup, just a third—33 percent—of U.S. workers feel engaged. That means two-thirds are more likely to let problems become an excuse for inaction, not invest time in learning new things and attempt to shift blame when troubles arise.

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That’s a concern because such behaviors directly impact corporate performance, Gallup says: Highly engaged business units outperform the least engaged by 21 percent in profitability, 20 percent in productivity and 10 percent in customer loyalty. Such numbers, Tomb said, are “too big to ignore.”

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After the keynote, SuccessFactors Head of Product Amy Wilson said the pivot toward “experience” was customer-driven. “There has been a drumbeat” about employee experience, she said. “It has been an area of focus, but I think the level of focus has intensified.”

“We see a definitive customer demand,” added Chief Revenue Officer Stephen Spears. “When we … started to message this to customers and prospects, we got an enormous amount of feedback and interest.”

From demonstrations Wilson introduced during the keynote, SAP will work toward providing experiences that integrate SuccessFactors capabilities with Qualtrics and other data, third-party apps and a notable UI revision. For example, a messaging-like interface could help a manager organize her day, plan for an upcoming performance discussion and book travel to a speaking engagement.

Wilson described HXM as “an evolution of our platform” as opposed to a re-build or re-branding. “It is our platform that is culling out particular, unique elements, including the supercharging technology and then [using a] different way of approaching the experience layer,” she said.

Experience Management Mindshare

Tomb stopped short of saying SuccessFactors has set out to replace “HCM” with “HXM” in HR nomenclature. He acknowledged that changing the market’s language presents a significant challenge. But by becoming the first vendor to put a stake so deep in the experience ground, SAP’s taking a bolder step than its competitors.

Oracle, for example, this morning announced new features for Oracle HCM Cloud that demonstrates the company’s continued focus on improving the employee and candidate experiences. However, it didn’t emphasize any changes to its messaging.

In essence, Oracle HCM and SuccessFactors seem to be following the same path, but SAP plans to make more noise about it.

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Image: SAP SuccessFactors